Category Archives: Authors

Breaking news: Lewis Barnavelt defeats Greg Heffley!

In idle moments, Ms. Walker’s mind often wonders to the circulation statistics. What books are the most popular? What are the boys reading these days?

Usually, it’s no surprise: graphic novels reign supreme – right now Sisters by Raina Telgemeier is the most-circulated book in the library by a long shot.

sisters

When it comes to popular fiction titles, it’s usually the big series that come out on top: Wimpy Kid, Warriors, Ranger’s Apprentice et al.

But check this out! Top fiction book since September here at St. George’s?

hwciw

Why yes, that’s a book by the late great John Bellairs, illustrated by the incomparably creepy Edward Gorey!

This isn’t a random occurence: it’s the Grade 4 read aloud. And it’s probably the best read aloud ever. It’s scary. It’s funny. There are magic stained glass windows and secret passageways and a hookah shaped like a Spanish Galleon. It’s pretty impressive that a relatively unknown book published in 1973 is beating the likes of the Wimpy Kid. Take that, Greg Heffley!

(And for what it’s worth, in this librarian’s opinion, Lewis Barnavelt is WAAAAY wimpier than Greg Heffley.)

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Filed under Authors, Book Review, Grade 4, Titles, Uncategorized

Author Visit Bonanza!

On Friday October 16th and Tuesday October 20th, we were fortunate enough to welcome three authors to visit our school! On the 16th we welcomed Kevin Sylvester and Kevin Sands, authors of the Neil Flambe series and The Blackthorn Key respectively. The two Kevins were a wonderful pair, even though their books are wildly different.

Kevin Sylvester has that magic skill that instantly entrances students: he can draw. Really well. So not only were we treated to a drawing lesson (big takeaway: if you’re trying to draw something, start with the basic shapes and then add to it; don’t try to draw it perfectly first.) we also got some great advice for writing: always be curious.

The Blackthorn Key is Kevin Sands’ very first book, and the Grade 5s are totally enthralled by it in library period! It is a tough order to make a book set in 17th Century London appealing to modern boys, but The Blackthorn Key has enough explosions, intrigue and indecipherable codes to keep kids turning the pages. Mr. Sands has researched codes and ciphers extensively and taught us all about them, and even stumped a few kids with a code hidden in a newspaper clipping.

On October 20th, we were fortunate enough to have another visit from Kenneth Oppel. Mr. Oppel is a bestselling author, read all around the world, but you wouldn’t know it to speak to him. He’s down to earth, approachable, and funny! He presented to the Grade 7s about Half Brother and to the Grade 4s (and an errant class of Grade 3s) about his latest novel The Nest. Which, by the way, is astoundingly good. Wasp nests, babies, dreams, angels… it’s unlike anything you’ll read. Go read it.

Thank you to all three K-authors for such terrific visits, and thanks as always to Vancouver Kidsbooks for organizing the author tours and providing us with books!

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Filed under Authors, Special Events

A Visit with Matt Holm!

Today was a very exciting one for the Grade 5 and 6 classes. We were fortunate enough to invite Matt Holm to St. George’s for a presentation on his new graphic novel Sunny Side Up! The timing could not be more perfect, because the Grade 6 students study Jennifer Holm’s — his sister and writing partner —  novel Turtle in Paradise this term, and it was wonderful to hear all about their family history and how that translates to a working relationship.

Matt is just a down-to-earth guy, and gave a fabulous presentation on his writing process: how to create characters, include fun details, and write with an authentic voice.

Check out the photos!

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Filed under Authors, Comics

The Next Jon Klassen?

Last month we were thrilled to invite Jon Klassen to our Library for a presentation to the Grade 1s and 2s! It was so exciting that Ms Walker forgot to blog about it at the time! (He also visited right smack in the middle of receiving all our new furniture, so not only was she star-struck, she was a little overwhelmed by organizing everything…)

Mr. Klassen read us his books, talked about how he gets his story ideas, and demonstrated his illustration techniques live. He is not only a supremely talented writer and illustrator, he’s also down-to-earth and a real hit with the kids (and teachers!). We are so lucky to be able to host such wonderful writers and creators at this school.

Mr. Klassen really inspired one boy in Grade 2, Taggart. One of the creatures that Jon demonstrated drawing was the crab from This Is Not My Hat:

This guy!

This guy!

Taggart really took a liking to that crab, and went on to author a series of seven books about a crab and his pal, a rock. Taggart and Ms. Walker worked together to create a recording of Taggart reading these rather brilliant slices of marine life. Click here to download the file: Crab and Rock series …and enjoy!

Crab and rock playing fetch. Little do they know that it's a dog game.

Crab and rock playing fetch. Little do they know that it’s a dog game.

 

Thank you, Jon Klassen! Your visit has left a lasting impression at our school.

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Filed under Authors, Grade 2, Photos

Raina and Kazu: video memories

The boys are still on a high after Monday’s author visit, so luckily the School’s communications department captured the visit on video! Enjoy!

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The Kazu – Raina Power Tour!

Today was a very exciting day at St. George’s. It was maybe the most exciting day ever. Ever ever ever. We got a visit from two of the most popular graphic novelists in the library: Kazu Kibuishi and Raina Telgemeier! Raina visited us two years ago and many of our students remembered that visit fondly. Some of them even kept the books she signed then and had her re-sign them today! Because the two creators are so massively popular with boys of all ages, we invited everyone in Grades 3 to 7 to the gym.

Kazu and Raina gave a joint presentation on the inspiration for their stories. Raina started the morning off with a bang, with a live reading of one chapter of Sisters involving two of our students. Even though Raina’s Sisters is a childhood memoir, and Kazu’s Amulet series is fantasy, it was fascinating to learn about how both wove in their own personal histories into their characters and plot lines. For example, Kazu’s memories of growing up with a single mother inspired the mystery of Emily and Navin’s kidnapped mother in Amulet. We wrapped up the event with a book signing in the library.

Enjoy the photos below!

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Filed under Authors, Comics, Fun, Special Events

Crack the Case with Lemony Snicket!

Lemony Snicket is a perpetually popular in this library. Once kids get hooked on A Series of Unfortunate Events, they can’t stop reading until they finish all 13 books. Snicket’s new series, All the Wrong Questions, is also making waves. If you’re a Snicket fan, or if you love a good brain teaser, be sure to check out his mini mysteries below! Click on the image to go to the game:

snicket

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Filed under Authors, Fun, Games